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How can I stop my daughter from stealing money?

Q: My daughter is 9 years old. When she was in class 2, she developed the habit of stealing. When sent to get milk, she bought something for herself and lied that the shopkeeper never gave her the money back. She wasn't even afraid of saying the same in front of the shopkeeper as well. Then she started stealing 10 rupees from my bag. After restricting her from this, she started asking her friends and literally begged them. After trying to control her for this, she started troubling her school driver for money and if he refrained, she would not get off from the bus. I tried to counsel her by telling her that it is wrong, but with no effect. My husband even beat her up for this, but she didn't even cry. This time it was for 50 rupees. I tried to punish her by saying not to come into the house so that she will feel ashamed if her friends see her and ask her. But it had no effect on her. When asked why she does it, she doesn't answer. Her studies have also taken a set back. She is a brilliant kid but very lazy to write. Her teachers say she lacks concentration. She also makes friends with children of 8th and 9th class. I want to understand what is running in her mind. Please help me.

A:Instead of just punishing your daughter when she takes your money, talk to her and ask her why she wants the money. What does she do with the money she borrows? Does she buy things with it or put the money away? If you can find a good Psychologist in your area, discuss the problem with her or him. In the meantime, here are some suggestions. Ask your child to make a list of all the things she would buy with Rs. 100/- Discuss each item and point out how, in many cases, she can make something herself instead of buying it in a shop. Other things she can get later. Give her an activity that she likes, where she can do well. If she stitches a handkerchief, thank her for it and tell her you are using it. If she paints or draws a picture, put it up on the wall. Tell her stories which will show that children will be popular and appreciated when they are honest and helpful. Take her for a walk and let her observe that many people are doing with much less than she has. Try all these simple methods, but also plan to seek expert help. Your affection and concern are absolutely necessary for her to give up stealing money or borrowing it.

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